Some consider it sacrilegious but it was certainly inevitable. After a lot of anticipation, Aston Martin has finally unveiled the DBX SUV at Beijing in China, today. This is the fourth out of 7 cars part of Aston’s Second Century Plan and marks the final ‘diversification’ phase of the plan. Aston Martin has developed a brand new platform for the DBX and the brand claims that this SUV has the sportscar pedigree that alll Aston Martin should have.
The Aston Martin DBX is essentially a rival to the Bentley Bentayga and the Range Rover but it also has the character to take arms against the Lamborghini Urus and the upcoming Ferrari Purosangue. The SUV is on sale now, retailing at a starting price of GBP 158,000 (Rs 1.46 crore) in the UK.
But we got to give it to Aston Martin for the design of DBX. The DBX carries the brand’s signature design traits and you immediately know its an Aston Martin. The face is dominated by the large Aston Grille and oval headlamp units just like any other Aston. The DBX gets new fog lamp housing and new vents on the hood that add a lot of character. If you ignore the ground clearance and tall nose, the DBX almost looks like a Vanquish from a couple of years ago. There’s also gloss black cladding all around to give it an SUV look and some chrome along the window lines.
The DBX is a very well-portioned car in profile. The pronounced rear haunches bring out the muscular shoulder of the SUV and it even gets air vents on the front fenders. The rear end has been finished like the new Vantage and it looks rather cool with the duck tail spoiler on a SUV profile. With an aggressively designed bumper and twin exhausts, you have a rather sexy looking posterior. The rear windscreen has quite a sloping profile with another roof mounted spoiler, making it look almost like a coupe-SUV. Its seems like a very tasteful design that has been executed quite aesthetically.
Contrary to other Aston Martins, this is no light weight sportscar. In fact, the DBX weighs a massive 2,245kg. Aston has however equipped the DBX with tons of sophisticated mechanical bits to keep it true to its roots. It gets electronic adaptive dampers, triple chamber air springs, and the Anti Roll Control System (eARC). The latter runs on a 48V system and uses high-voltage electronic trickery to keep the DBX on its toes, always. Aston has also fitted the DBX with active, electronically controlled differentials. It can also raise its height by 45mm, for a maximum ground clearance of 235mm. With a wading depth of 500mm, the DBX is good for a bit of off-roading. Ever thought you’d be taking an Aston off the road? Now you can.
Coming to the interiors, the DBX is typically Aston Martin in its basic design language. Almost the entire cabin comes draped in sumptuous leather, seeking to embody the firm’s characteristic blend of comfort and opulence. Other notable details include perforated leather seats, an expansive panoramic glass roof, and wood-finished interior door handles.
As was already known before, the DBX uses Mercedes-sourced switchgear and technology. A close look at the center console will tell you the buttons and the infotainment system controller are from Mercedes-Benz. The upper portion of the dashboard looks typical Aston Martin though. However, there are certain key changes. There’s no floating infotainment screen. Instead, it has been integrated in the dashboard itself. The classic band of five buttons with the ignition key in between now sit on the top of the dashboard. The AC vents below the screen are much slimmer, below which are some standard Aston Martin switchgear. This Aston is also big on utility — the seats fold 40:20:40, and the cargo volume is a whopping 632 litres.
The switchgear and technology is not the only Mercedes sourced item in the DBX. The Aston Martin DBX is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG. This engine is capable of producing 550 bhp and 700 Nm of peak torque. And there you have it, the DBX is thus the most powerful V8-powered car that Aston Martin has ever produced. Aston claims a 0-100 kph time of 4.5 seconds and a top-speed of 181 mph. Ther are talks of a V12 engine in the future and if its true, we’d be very glad.
Aston says “In Sport+ mode, the entire rev counter will flash when approaching the rev limiter to indicate the need to change gear.” Your experience is only accentuated by the exhaust note of this engine. Aston hasn’t used speakers and a soundtrack for the DBX’s aural experience but the SUV has electronically operated valves in the exhaust system, and the engine increases its idle speed to help you hear it roar.
The DBX marks a whole new era for Aston Martin. For 106 years, this British carmaker has only been making grand tourers and sportscars. However, to keep pace with other car manufacturers in the business, an SUV to drive the volumes was perhaps necessary and if its one such as this, we don’t mind it afterall. More importantly, it it enables Aston to produce more cars such as the Valkyrie, what are we complaining about?